Everything is Changing: Why you should care

Change is everywhere – politics, business, the environment, our institutions – and it’s accelerating.

  • Leaders in power for decades are being toppled.
  • “Twenty something” entrepreneurs create ground-breaking technologies out of thin air.
  • Record-setting temperatures and devastating “natural disasters” become part of daily life.
  • Species become extinct at an alarming rate.

Society’s ability to adapt to change has been hindered by entrenched leaders, who are complacent, short-sighted, self-centered and beholden to special interests. But even that is changing; challenges by activists with new ideas and fresh faces are growing. Why the sudden turmoil?

Some ascribe the changes to the 2012 arrival of the Mayan calendar’s long-predicted shift in consciousness. This explanation may be too radical for many but the theory has ardent supporters. For a well-researched, scholarly book on this topic read, The Source Field Investigations, by David Wilcock. Mayans aside, there are many other theories about why change happens. Futurist Sara Robinson has compiled a list of ten change theories worth our attention. After all, change is the only thing we know will happen. We interpret events through different lenses; many heated debates are, at their heart, competing worldviews about how to effect change. Examining our own views and understanding the assumptions of others are critical to finding common ground. We need to stop talking at each other and begin talking with each other. The opportunity for a prosperous, sustainable world demands it.

Read the following list of change theories. To which ones do you subscribe? Can you identify those espoused by people with opposing views? Where can we find common ground?

  1. Progress – humans apply ingenuity and problem solving to create advancements.
  2. Development – societies increase their specialization and complexity
  3. Technology –support for research and development increases
  4. Ideas – dissemination of new ideas changes beliefs and cultural norms
  5. Markets – demand for new goods and services prods innovation
  6. Cycles – waves of great change alternate with cycles of rest and integration
  7. Conflict – people engaged in an active struggle to improve their lives
  8. Power – influential people decide to alter the status quo to increase their power
  9. Evolution – the environment shifts and organisms adapt to the changes
  10. Chaos, Complexity and Criticality – systems theory’s big picture worldview

Our view is that all these theories play a part in how change happens. Maybe what we need to do is move from an either/or to any/and mind set. Given the divisive discourse we’ve become accustomed to, it sure couldn’t hurt.

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